The poll found that 58% of people, including 51% of Democrats, believe public schools are teaching K-12 students what to believe about race either somewhat or very often. Meanwhile, only 27% of respondents thought schools were not pushing specific views on race.
The poll also found that 50% of people believed public schools were teaching students to adopt certain views on sexuality, with 40% of Democrats, 49% of independents, and 65% of Republicans believing that was the case either very or somewhat often.
Carl Bialik, YouGov’s vice president of data science and U.S. politics editor, told the Washington Examiner that the polling revealed a significant divide between what most people think is being taught in public schools and what they would like to see taught in schools.
In particular, he noted that the poll found that 40% of respondents believed schools teach students that the United States has a complicated history with “good and bad aspects,” and 46% do not. But when asked if they believed students should be taught U.S. history in that way, 68% of respondents agreed.
“That’s something that people seem pretty comfortable with as something that should be taught in schools,” Bialik said.
When it came to teaching students about sexual orientation and gender identity, the poll found widespread opposition to the teaching of such concepts in elementary school.
The poll found that 67% of respondents said they opposed such lessons to students in kindergarten through third grade, including 53% who said they strongly opposed it. Additionally, 59% opposed classroom instruction on the topics in fourth and fifth grade, with 44% saying they were strongly opposed.
For students in middle school grades, a plurality of 48% said they opposed classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity. It wasn’t until high school grades that support for instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation garnered a majority support of 51%, with 38% opposed.
The results come less than two months after Florida lawmakers and the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis (R), were widely condemned by numerous high-profile pundits, Democratic politicians, and the Walt Disney Company for enacting the Parental Rights in Education bill, which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. The law’s critics claimed it is censorious and derided it as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, though the word “gay” does not appear in the law’s text.
The poll had a sample size of 1,000 people polled between Aug. 12-15. The margin of error was 3.3%.